"Hello, Rene," Sidney said as she answered the phone.

"Hello, Sidney," she responded in her polite tone. "Is my son home?"

"No, he's at the studio," Sidney answered. "You can call him there if you'd like."

"I don't want to bother him while he's working," she sighed. "I guess I could discuss this with you."

Sidney rolled her eyes. Conversations with Rene were not on her top ten list of favorite things to do, especially since there'd been more than usual lately. "Ok. What's up?"

"Rachel, the kids and I would like to fly in a few days before the wedding to help with any last minute arrangements. Tony will fly in Friday night."

Sidney held in a groan and forced a smile in her voice. "That's fine. We have plenty of room."

"I'll double check with Rob," Rene said.

Sidney was tempted to yank her hair out and tell Rene that even though she wasn't legally married to Rob yet, he insisted it was her home, too. "Whatever you think is best," she muttered. "He'll be home soon and I'll have him call you."

"I'll call back later, just in case," she assured Sidney.

They ended the short conversation and Sidney charged into the kitchen. Mrs. B looked up from the stove, brows knitted. "What's the problem, dear?"

Sidney plopped in a chair, phone still in her hands. "Rene just can't accept that Rob and I are together."

Mrs. B smiled. "She will, don't worry."

Sidney rested her head in her arms on the table. "I doubt it."

"Doubt what?" Rob asked as he sauntered into the room. He dropped a kiss on Sidney's head.

"Call your mom," she ordered, moving only to hand him the phone.

"What now?" he moaned as he took the seat next to her.

"She wants to fly in on Wednesday with Rachel and the kids and I told her it was fine, she could stay here," Sidney explained. "But she has to double check with you."

"Rookie, you shoulda told her it's your house, too," he chastised.

She picked up her head and narrowed her eyes. "It doesn't matter what I tell her, Rob."

He smiled softly and kissed her gently. "My mom loves you, she just has a funny way of showing it."

"Just call her, ok?" Sidney pleaded.

He grinned and spun away, phone pressed to his ear. "Hi Mom," he greeted. "Sidney said you called."

Sidney sat back, arms folded across her chest, and listened as a smirk played around on her lips.

"Of course it's fine if you fly in Wednesday. You don't have to double check this stuff with me, you know. It's Sidney's house, too."

Mrs. B raised a brow at Sidney and leaned against the counter, amusement evident in her eyes.

"I think everything's taken care of, Mom," he sighed, rubbing the back of his neck. "Sid and Lex have been working tirelessly on it."

Rob kept rubbing the back of his neck and Sidney waited patiently, knowing perfectly well that he would start to pace any second. It was a sure sign of his agitation. As he continued his conversation, he indeed started to pace so Sidney got to her feet and wrapped her arms around his waist, effectively stopping him. He draped his free arm around her shoulders and listened to his mother go on about floral arrangements and guest seating. He suddenly looked down at Sidney, a touch of horror on his face.

"I don't know who's gonna walk Sid down the aisle," he said. "We never really talked about it."

Sidney gave him a weak smile and bit her lip. No, they hadn't talked about but she'd certainly thought about it. Often. She figured she'd walk herself to Rob, thinking it to be a symbolic gesture. She'd walked through life pretty much on her own until she met him and when she joined him at the altar, she'd continue her walk with him.

He kissed her temple once he finished his call and took her hand. "Who do you want to walk you down, Rookie?"

"No one," she smiled and shared her thoughts on the whole matter with him.

"You're very sweet, Sid," he told her adoringly. "And I'm a very lucky man to have you."


"Sidney, sit down," Mrs. B ordered. "You're insulting me by going back over everything!"

Sidney gasped. "I'm sorry! I didn't mean…"

Mrs. B smiled and patted her arm. "I'm kidding, dear. Everything is in order, including the guest rooms. Just sit back and enjoy your last few moments of peace before Rob brings them all home."

"I just don't want to give Rene another reason to look down on me," Sidney sighed.

"She doesn't look down on you," Mrs. B protested. "She's just very overprotective of her children. Rob especially."

"I don't know what she thinks I'm gonna do," Sidney said. "I love him."

"I know you do," Mrs. B reassured her. "And more importantly, so does Rob. Just focus on that."

Just then they heard Rob crash through the doors with the twins racing after him. She took a deep breath, plastered a smile on her face and went to help him with the luggage.


After the rehearsal and the ensuing dinner, Rob left with Chad. Lexie and her mother insisted that he not stay in the same house as Sidney, believing it to be bad luck. Sidney kissed him good-bye, wishing fervently that he would blow off the bad luck thing and hold her all night. But, being the good sport that he was, he cheerfully left with Chad and the others, promising her he wouldn't stay up all night and party.

She tossed and turned all night, amazed that Lexie, who had stayed the night and shared the bed with her, could sleep so soundly. Finally, about an hour before sunrise, she crept down the steps and out onto the deck. She stood against the rail taking in the sweet salt water smell. She smiled as she realized later that day she would become Rob's wife.

"Psst, Sid," someone whispered from the beach.

Her heart pounded as she started, not at all expecting anyone to be up and about at this hour. She leaned over the rail and found Rob motioning for her to join him. She climbed over the rail and he took her waist and helped her down. He kept hold of her even after her feet hit the sand.

"What are you doing here?" she asked as she wound her hands behind his neck.

"I was gonna sneak in the house to see you," he said with a smirk. "But you spared me from that task." He pressed his lips to hers, sinking down to the sand. "Are you nervous?"

She nodded. "Yes. And I couldn't sleep last night."

He ran a finger down her cheek. "I didn't get a whole lot either." He settled into the sand and pulled her in his lap. "My dad called when they got in around midnight."

"Where are they staying?" Sidney asked, melding her body to his.

"In a hotel for now. He has a house here in LA but he rents it when he's gone. His current tenants will be out sometime next week."

She nodded drowsily in his chest. A couple birds called out to each other as bits of sunlight sprinkled the air. "Your mom will be up soon, I expect," she told him as linked her hand with his. "You better get out of here or she'll have a fit."

"Yeah, I know," he sighed. "I just wanted to check on you."

She pulled his head down and kissed him softly, melting into him when he deepened the kiss. She regretfully broke away and stood, holding her hands out to him. "I better get back inside."

He held her hands and kissed her again. "Just a few more hours, Rookie, and you'll be my wife. Then we can get out of here and spend some time alone."

Her heart lifted as her stomach flopped. "Go!" she ordered, standing on her toes to kiss him. "I'll see you soon."

He helped her on the deck and gave her a wink as he headed off back down the beach. She stood and watched him go as the sliders opened and Mrs. B slipped out.

"You two are in so much trouble if Rene finds out," Mrs. B whispered with a smile.

"I know," Sidney said. She brushed the sand off her clothes and wandered back inside.


"You look absolutely gorgeous," Lexie exclaimed as she slipped into the bedroom. "I have the flowers for your hair so hold still." Sidney sat carefully on the bed as Lexie pinned the lilies in her hair. She stood back and admired her handiwork. "Perfect," she declared as she motioned for Sidney to check for herself in the mirror.

Sidney gazed at her reflection as nervousness fluttered throughout her limbs. They'd decided to do a casual beach wedding, Sidney just wanting it to be simple. She wore a white halter summer dress that clung to her waist and floated down to her knees. Lexie hired her hairdresser to come in and pile Sidney's hair on top of her head leaving a few tendrils to frame her face. Her three bridesmaids, Lexie, Leslie and Rachel, wore dresses similar to hers only in a pale yellow.

She'd dragged Lexie and Leslie shopping to pick out attire for the guys, not trusting them to do so themselves. They'd all decided to dress Rob in a white, gauzy button up shirt with white cargo shorts and the others the same, only in yellow and khaki.

"I think we're just about ready to start," Rachel said as she opened the door. Leslie snuck in behind her. "You look lovely, Sidney."

Sidney smiled nervously and gave her a quick hug. "Are the guys all ready?" Rachel nodded. "My dad's here, too, and anxious to meet you."

Sidney's stomach dropped to her toes. If Max Blackburn was anything like his ex-wife, this was going to be a long day.

"Girls, get downstairs!" Rene ordered as she stormed through the door. She thrust a heaping bouquet of lilies at Sidney. "Are you ready?" Sidney nodded. "Are you sure you want to walk alone because Max told Rob he'd walk you if you'd like."

Sidney was taken aback, touched deeply by his thoughtful gesture. "That's very kind, but I'll be fine."

"Ok, let's go," Rene said and shepherded her out of the room. They got to the kitchen where the other girls were standing by the sliders, waiting to make their entrance. Sidney could see Tyler on the deck with his portable keyboard, playing music to entertain the guests sitting in the chairs on the sand. She couldn't see beyond the rail to where Rob was standing and that caused her anxiety level to rise. She took a deep breath and nodded at Rene, wanting to get things moving so she could just see Rob, knowing he'd give her a smile or a wink and make everything all right.

Rachel went first, followed by the other two, and they made their way across the deck and down the steps to the lily covered archway on the beach. She waited for Tyler to begin the bridal march before stepping gingerly on the white runner paving her way to matrimony. Once she caught Rob's eye, he smiled broadly at her, causing her heart to race. She had to remind herself to walk slowly and not run to him as she longed to do. Finally, she reached her spot and handed her bouquet over to Lexie. The minister instructed Rob to take her hands and once he did, all nervousness left her body.

They said their vows and exchanged rings and before she knew it, he escorted her back to the deck and took her in his arms. "You look so beautiful, Sid," he gasped as he kissed her. "I love you."

Her emotions were working overtime and she couldn't form a sentence. All she could do was throw her arms over his shoulders and tuck her head in his chest.

"I'm so happy for you guys," Lexie gushed as the entire wedding party gathered around to congratulate them.

Rob's family as well as the other guest made their way forward to greet the newlyweds and Sidney's eyes fell on an older version of Rob. He smiled gently at her and she tugged on Rob's shirt.

"Is that your dad?" she asked.

He grinned and dragged her by the hand through the throng. "Dad!" he called out. "This is Sidney."

Max Blackburn's blue eyes crinkled as he smiled and pulled her into a hug. "It's nice to finally meet you, Sidney," he told her.

"You, too," she said, secretly relieved by his warm greeting.

"This is my wife, Karen," he said, draping his arm around a thin brunette. A boy stood shyly next to her with the same brown hair and eyes as his mother. "That's Conner," Max continued fondly.

Sidney greeted them both, asking them what they thought of California so far, when a pair of arms wrapped around her waist. She frowned and spun around to find Nick Collins grinning at her.

"Congrats, beautiful," he beamed as he kissed her cheek. "You look amazing!"

She hugged him and the others as they stepped forward. "I'm so glad you guys came," she exclaimed. "I thought you were on the road."

"We finished up a couple weeks ago," Jake told her, waving at the shy, wide-eyed Connor.

"We couldn't miss this," Matt winked. "Even if Ronnie cried the whole time."

Sidney's eyes grew as big as Conner's as she turned to Ronnie. "You didn't!"

"All my hopes and dreams were crushed when you said 'I do'," he teased.

She slapped him playfully on the arm then leaned in to kiss his cheek. Rob turned away from his dad to greet the other band. Ronnie stepped forward and extended his hand. "The best man won," he sighed dramatically.

Rob grinned. "Yeah, it was touch and go there for awhile, though."

Sidney groaned. "I'm going to get a drink," she declared and stomped away to the kitchen.


The reception began immediately after the ceremony on the grounds and Sidney was amazed at how quickly the time flew. She kept busy mingling with Rob's extended family and dancing on the makeshift dance floor with her friends.

As much as she hated to admit it, she was indeed avoiding Rene. Their relationship hadn't warmed at all the days before the wedding and to top it all off, Melanie did manage to make an appearance. She showed up after the party was well under way and, after congratulating the newlyweds, spent most of her time conversing with Rob's mom and other family members.

Sidney ignored the twinge of jealousy playing around her heart and enjoyed her reception as much as possible. Rob managed to keep pretty close to her, showering her with compliments and kisses. He kept a constant eye on his watch, counting down the minutes until he could whisk her away for two glorious weeks.

Finally, Chad approached them as they were dancing and informed them the guys had taken their bags down to his house and loaded them in the waiting limo. Whenever they were ready, they could walk down the beach, get in the limo and head to the airport.

"Why do we have to go to Chad's house," Sidney frowned.

He pulled her closer and kissed her nose. "There are quite a few reporters outside the gates. I asked Chad if he would have the limo go to his house so we can sneak down there and make our getaway."

Sidney smiled up at him. "You're a brilliant man, Rob."

"I'm a lucky man," he amended. "Let's get out of here."

She agreed as he took her hand and led her down the beach.

A/N: I've struggled all weekend on this. Of course, my sinus infection turned worse and now I have an ear infection (yuck). And, those stupid, stupid Cubs were swept by the Diamondbacks so now they're out of the playoffs. Yeah, so that makes me happy (I'm being sarcastic).

Anyway, here's the start of the sequel. I promise it will get better.

Someone asked if I live in the Midwest since most of my stories are based in Indiana. Yes, I live in Indiana. I'm in a small town about halfway between Chicago and Indianapolis. I was born here but I haven't lived here my whole life. We moved a few times.